The Gate

 This is the message, regardless of me
- though I will a suitable exhibit be -
that mankind is full of potential and sin.
And one can be grown and the other spread thin
but never can Holiness look upon that
and see not the layer that coateth us fat,
that marbles our innards, our inner-out state
and warrants that payment in blood be made;
that taking the plight of the world in his hands
from his palms through his human tendons and strands
the God of aseity incarnate dwelled,
aimed for the cross and wounds which swelled
to pulse with blood and the pain of flesh
and cry out our justice, his grace and rest.
What shall we do with salvation so great?
How can we turn from the old rugged gate?
Oh, but we dwell on the question of why
one rescuer came and no other. And by
the passing of time we find that we stood
unmoved as we wrote of this way of wood.
We sing of its wonders while standing aside
or building, rejecting all bigoted pride,
alternative theory, religion or lord
to come and deny or save from the sword
when plainly he said it, there's no other way
to come to the father, no other to say
but the name of the son, that is, Jesus the man
who claimed to be Yahweh as no other can.
Come to the Lord and hear what he said.
Repent of your sin and take glory instead.


Etra spread his arms and pulled everything close. The mix of shapes tumbled over one another and he reviewed what he had made this week. There were many different pieces, some large and others barely noticeable. All were of his hand. Etra smiled. There was a profound beauty in the material he used, though many people would never notice. It took a lot of looking to see it. With the softer, more colourful pieces the building blocks were somewhat more self-evident, but even the most angular of pieces were made of the same rounded grains, finer than dust.

The versatile material gave Etra such endless ideas – many of which he pursued to production – that he truly deserved his fame as the greatest artist that ever lived. Indeed he was noted as the material’s inventor, and had many flocking to him to enquire about it. So far he had shared only some of the secret.

From his pile, Etra selected a small roundish piece and rolled it between his fingers, feeling its rough edges and darting his eyes between its many bubble-like craters. It was a piece he titled rock. Next he picked up a small cloud, a single ashy white piece. It was very light to hold.  And the name was perfect for the pieces in this series. Some were grey and anvil-shaped, others barely a film of streaks. This one was rather like a sheep. Etra wanted people to see the clouds, as there was one to please everyone’s eyes. Nevertheless, many of his works would not be seen by the world. Still he made them. He brought the cloud close to his nose.

“Art.” Etra said, with a satisfied sigh.

Such a simple word. He turned the piece over in his hands. It was full of technology, mixing different types of fine round grains and having properties to perplex and intrigue the scientific community. Art.

He held it a while longer, allowing his thoughts to drift to the places the piece would go after he sent it out. His work was already renowned worldwide, from bustling cities to the remotest pastoral hillside. Indeed the tiny clouds were some of the most popular. Etra placed this one back in the pile and surveyed the rest of the collection. It included a new batch of his microscale animated pieces, ready for distribution ahead of Christmas. Each one of those was particularly fine, crafted with careful attention and concentration. Such special pieces.

Some of the special pieces were destined for recipients on summertime beaches, some to wintery forests, and others across the equator where no bells jingled. Some were going to the Mediterranean, where sea pebbles crackled and the evenings were warm. Etra thought about his son, and leaned back. He remembered the days in the dust and heat, and the bright starry skies of the night. The only sounds they had enjoyed then were the dull goatbells and the occasional hoot of an owl. They were difficult times. But they had been Together, ever yet creating the art. It was no longer work. It was rest. And art. It was good. Life. Newness. A sense of the world changing, growing. The passing of things into time.